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Mobile Technology ‘Distracting’ From Long-Term Planning: Northwestern

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Greg Friedman never really believed human interaction on a personal level would be superceded by technology, and always said as much. He’s now beginning to change his mind.

Friedman, president of both advisor CRM provider Junxure and investment firm Private Ocean, says that while baby boomers and certain Gen Xers want the human touch, not so for those who have been completely raised with a technology, as opposed to those being forced to adapt.

A new study from Northwestern Mutual appears to back Friedman’s hypothesis, at least in part. The company’s “Planning & Progress 2013—Technology and Society” study finds technology users across all generational cohorts are increasingly distracted by technology, and specifically the pitches they receive electronically. Yet “boomers and matures,” in particular, are more likely to say the pace of society makes it harder to stick with long-term goals.

Additionally, more than a third of respondents over all say their electronic and mobile device usage has increased over the past year. Three in 10 are distracted by the immediacy of technology in society. Usage has increased the most for Gen Y men, those with children under 18 and those with the highest assets. More than 6 in 10 say they feel too busy to think about long-term goals.

The online survey of 1,546 Americans set out to evaluate the state of financial planning, and people’s ability to stay on course over the long term to meet their goals. It also sought to assess how Americans are responding to the pace of society, as well as the current economic and political climate. Lastly, according to the company, it wished to “to understand whether or not Americans feel they are ‘moving in the right direction’ in areas such as debt, saving, spending, health and finances.”


Read Wealth Managers Look to Technology to Free Up Time for Clients on AdvisorOne.


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